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About Google Book Search Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web at |http: //books .google .com/I n n^i ■ r BOOKPLATES BY FREDERICK GARRISON HALL Will, Text By R.CLIPSTON STVRCIS 1 ■ ^1 ^-^^^^^^^r ■ ^Ll._ THE BOOK-PLATES OF FREDERICK GARRISON HALL ECORATIVE design in ^ America has had in none of its branches so rapid a devel- opment as in that of the book- plate. Twenty-five years ago there were, in this country, it.vi book-plates that were anything more than coats-of-arms or labels. To-day there is a large and increasing production in this branch of design. The book-plate no longer necessarily consists of a coat-of-arms only; more usually it is a small, decorative composition that in some way indicates the owner's individ- uality, or else is, in a general way, symbolic of books and reading. Mr. Hall's plates have a place of their own among theforemost produftionsof the day. Both in conception and in execution they are notable. . It is pleasant to see that Mr. Hall, though largely self taught, has fortunately little or nothing to unlearn. Though we do see in his work a distindt tinge of individuality, it is evident that his efforts have been directed chiefly toward per- fecting his means of expression. As Stevenson, in another form of art, using language as a medium, for years studied and imitated what he considered best in the styles of the great writers, so Mr. Hall has confined his attention to those masters whose method lends itself most rapidly to drawings of a purely decorative character. His study of the old designers has been untiring; in the light of their work he has striven for a satisfactory technique. In his more recent plates we can see the begin- nings of a style distinctively his own, one that is all the more interesting when we know on what foundation it is built. His subjects are largely drawn from the past; his method is inspired by the work of such men as Durer, Van Staar, and Rembrandt, masters of pure line. Yet in Mr. Hall's best work one may trace results of the study, not only of the elder engravers and wood-cutters, but also of modern draughtsmen. Turn for instance to the Straus plate. The eflfect is that of a steel engraving; yet in the rendering of the face may be seen the influence of Mr. Maxfield Parrish. The Roelvink plate shows this combination still more plainly. The handling of the figure of the young prince is distinctively modern, but the treatment of the walls, especially that of the corner where a lightening of the tones is effected by diamond cross hatching with broken lines, takes us back to the sixteenth century. The Hooper plate, on the other hand, though it lacks some of the mechanical perfections of the two mentioned above, will doubtless seem to many one of the most charming in the collection. Pure line work is seldom better applied to pictorial decoration. The plate was etched by Mr. W. H. W. Bick- well ; it was one of Mr. Hall's earlier productions, dating from about the same time as the Fuller plate, engraved by Mr. Spenceley. The composi- tion of the latter is especially noteworthy. The White plate is perhaps the best example of the command of a clean steady pen line. The sky is admirably handled ; the shading of the sails is care- ful and fitting. The natural treatment of the water, and the general freedom from exaggeration, make the plate a good example of what some one has called "sane decoration." In no way dependent on elaboration for their effect, the two small plates (of Walton Atwater Green and Clement Scott) are perfect in their way. The reproduction of the latter is hardly smaller than the original. There is little in it; a Venetian lamp and a scroll ; but the sense of composition and harmony is excellent. Mr. Hall's plate is interesting. The hand is his own and the H in its complete form the signature that he has lately adopted. The Allen plate, engraved by Mr. Spenceley, shows a happier use qf solid blacks than, for instance, the Straus plate. The handling of the small shields and the decorations at the bottom is typical in delicacy and completeness. In conclusion, one may call attention to the lettering of these book-plates. Few laymen realize that lettering is something more than a mechanical process. Those who have tried it, know that lettering is a difficult art in itself. Mr. Hall has developed a thoroughly good style. The inscriptions of the White, and the Chatman plates may be taken as examples of his best work in this line. What Mr. Hall may ultimately achieve is, of course, a matter of conjecture. But one may safely say that if the normal course of development holds true in his case, his future work is destined to occupy no secondary place in the field of Am- erican decorative design. '•F'-*r'-v k AMY IVERS TRVXSDELL r ( WALTON ATWATER • GREEN • I^X Z7«R7-j| ^ 1 Anna Lee Ames SNowell* fExLibrisI ^^^i^i^a?^ 1 C^^SI3 -WALTER.*- —RUPERT— TUCKERMAN ,:^^^^^^>^ Herbert nathAn stravs EX LIB RIS 1 JOSEPH DE, FOREST JUNKIN.JR EX LIBRIS HERMAN CHRISTIAAN JVRIAAN ROELVINK I Alfred Talbot Baker His 'Book N % f ■ SnntonI UntvwMy UbrariM iiiiHiiiiliiiiiii 3 6105 120 014 019 CECIL H. GREEN LIBRARY STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRAR STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 94305^ (650) 723-1493 greencircQstanFord.edu All book:; are subject to r DATE DUE all.